Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan was graciously received in Canberra today by the wife of the Australian Prime Minister, Mrs Lucy Turnbull, as the two toured the National Portrait Gallery.
Accompanying her husband, King Abdullah II during his state visit of Australia the trip involves a number of visits and meetings with various dignitaries and figures that will serve to strengthen the already warm relations between Australia and Jordan.
During their tour of the Gallery, Her Majesty and Mrs Turnbull were joined by the Gallery’s Chairman, Dr Helen Nugent, Director Angus Trumble, and as well as the wives of the Australian Ambassador to Australia and her Jordanian counterpart, Ms Marta Henriques-Pereira and Ms Lubnan Kraishan respectively.
The large female to male ratio was perhaps not coincidental, as during her visit to the Gallery Queen Rania and Mrs Turnbull paid particular attention to portraits of significant women in Australian history, such as the Australian pilot Nancy Bird Walton, who founded the Australian Women Pilots’ Association in 1950, and who holds the record for being the youngest female pilot in Australia. Also included in the line-up were portraits of the Gallery’s founding patrons, Marilyn and Gordon Darling, and various self-portraits created by Australian women artists.
While at the Gallery, Queen Rania was also able to view a portrait of Captain Thomas Cook, whose expeditions to Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific paved the way for British expansion in those regions, and the eventual founding of Australia itself.
The National Gallery prides itself in its broad and diverse range of art created by artists from all corners of Australian society, having expanded rapidly since its founding in 1994. Located originally in the Old Parliament Building, the Gallery was moved to its current location in 2008 due to its collection outgrowing the storage capacities of the original building. Since then it has dedicated itself to preserving the visual documentation of Australian culture and history in all its forms.